SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Not exactly the way the Saint Leo University softball team wanted to start the season, dropping a pair of games during the opening day of the 2009 College Classic hosted by St. Mary’s College in San Antonio, Texas.

SLU (0-2) dropped their opening game to the Cameron University Aggies, 8-3 behind the four Aggies’ home runs and a pair of four-run innings. The Green and Gold’s attempt to even out their record on the day, fell by the wayside as untimely errors during crucial moments of the game assisted in he disappearance of two 2-run leads, as they fell to the Tarleton State Tex Anns, 7-6.

In the first game of the day, Lions’ pitcher Ashley Urbanik quickly picked up where she left off last season, striking out the side. But the Aggies’ bats soon heated up, as they loaded the bases in third inning for their cleanup hitter who delivered with a one-out grand slam over the left field fence giving the Aggies a 4-0 lead.

The Lions jumped back into the game during the top of the fourth, as the heart of the Lions order struck for three runs, including a monstrous two-run blast by Ally Maddox to make the score 4-3.

SLU couldn’t keep momentum on their side though as Cameron connected on their second four-run inning, including three home runs, in the fourth to stretch the lead to the final margin of victory, 8-3.

Despite eight strikeouts, Urbanik picked up the loss for the Lions, tossing four innings, while giving up six runs, all of which were earned.

Game two witnessed a much more aggressive Lions' bunch, immediately jumping on a talented Tarleton State team with two runs in the first, including an opposite field blast by Lions’ shortstop Tatiana Casis.

After Tarleton cut the lead in half with a run in the second, SLU took advantage of two Tex Anns’ errors scoring two runs to increase the lead to 4-1.

One more Tarleton run crossed the plate in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly, making the score 4-2. After the Tex Ann’s were shut down by Urbanik in the fifth, who relieved starter Kristen Kelly in the top half of the inning, Tarleton broke through to tie the game at 4-4, off of two hits and one Lions’ error. The two runs eventually forced extra innings. 

Still, no team could take advantage of the free runner until the ninth. With Amber Martyn and Tiffinee Harvey in scoring position, Casis delivered a clutch single up the middle to give the Lions a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Not much went right for the Lions in the bottom half of the inning, as the top of the Tarleton order loaded the bases with no outs. An error and a passed ball quickly tied the game at two and with no outs with a runner at third, Tarleton’s fifth spot hitter delivered a single through the left side to end the game.

Urbanik struggled in her relief appearance, walking four batters and giving up five runs (one earned) in four innings pitched

Kelly rebounded from a rocky relief appearance in the first game to make her first collegiate start a good outing. Kelly threw four innings, gave up only two runs and struck out five Tarleton players in the no decision.

Casis had an outstanding day for Saint Leo hitting for the two-game cycle, going 4-for-7 with two RBI and three runs scored. Dianne Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with a double, while Maddox and Harvey wet 2-for-7 apiece, both connecting on extra base hits. Urbanik scored a pair of runs, while connecting one of the four extra base hits on the day for the Lions.

The Lions continue play at the College Classic February 6 with two more games beginning at 4:45 pm EST against Eastern New Mexico State followed by a showdown with Texas Women’s University at 7:00 pm EST. Both games can be heard live on the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network.